Attending the Data Science Credentialing Editorial Board meeting at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) headquarter in Washington, D.C. this week had been a great, unique learning opportunity for me.
The main purpose of the meeting was for the Board members to convene in person in order to continue their work on planning and designing a data management education/training program. The education/training resources from the program are targeted on not only the scientists in the Earth and geo-science domains, who are the key members of the AGU community, but also potentially the other research team members, such as information professionals and data analysts, who also work with the scientists to collaborate and complete data management tasks. The agenda of the meeting included updating the current status of the program development, discussing the education/training topics that should be included in the program, brainstorming on the possible official program title, as well as reviewing potential processes for producing the education/training resources. In addition to the six of the eight Board members, who represented a wide variety of academic and federal science research centers, other attendees included six AGU staff members, and two consultants specialized in data management/stewardship and education. Consequently, during the meeting discussions, I was able to learn a diverse range of perspectives regarding how and what should be taught through the program, so that scientists could learn the essential data skills after using the education/training resources from the program. As a result of the meeting, the Board members had selected a few program titles that will be reviewed further with the test audience. The Board members will also continue to develop the program structure and content remotely, so that the first resource could be released by the end of this year in order to introduce the AGU community to the new program.
In terms of my contribution to the meeting, in addition to participating in the discussions and the activities, I also provided two presentations to the Board. The first presentation was regarding a data management training comparison project that I had conducted last fall with the sponsorship from the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP). The purpose and the outcome of the project were to summarize the commonalities and gaps from a variety of open, freely accessible data management training resources focused in Earth/geosciences (the details regarding this project were included in my post from last week). As a result, the Board member considered the project results to be directly applicable to the development of the AGU’s program. The other presentation that I provided to the Board was regarding my DataONE internship project. Even though my project is still in progress, the Board members also plan to evaluate their education/training program. As a result, the Board was interested in learning about my project and understanding if they might be able to reuse our tool when it is completed. As a result of the presentations, I received positive feedback regarding my project, and after sharing the Board members’ suggestions with my mentors, I am looking forward to integrating their recommendations into our project documentations, so that the final tool could be better understood and utilized by our tool users.